When people care about you enough to take time off from work and spend money on travel just to be a part of your special day, be sure to show them how grateful you are.
Let guests arriving from out of town know that they matter to you too by doing something to show your appreciation.
Reserve a block of hotel rooms
If you have a group of guests travelling to your wedding, you should reserve a block of hotel rooms for them so they can get a discounted group rate. The block of rooms should be reserved at least 6 months in advance of the wedding date at a hotel located in close proximity to the wedding site.
Most hotels require a minimum number of at least ten rooms if you are reserving a block of rooms. If you’re going to need more than 30 rooms, you will probably want to split the blocks of rooms between different hotels. Try to make sure that the hotel and venue are located in close proximity to one another so your guests won’t have to go to much trouble to get around.
Some guests may be arriving from out of town but won’t be renting a car. If they aren’t renting a car, arrange for a good friend or relative to greet them at the airport and take them to their hotel.
Ensure that your guests have transportation to the ceremony and the reception. If they don’t have a rental car, arrange for them to carpool with other guests. The reception venue should be no further than 20-30 minutes away from the ceremony site so guests aren’t stuck driving long distances or waiting around for the reception to start.
A gift bag, basket, or favor of some kind is a popular way to give thanks to your out-of-town guests.
Gift bags can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. Even if your budget is small, you can still create a nice gift bag that your guests will appreciate. Don’t feel like you need to overdo it—it’s the thought that counts.
Here are some things you might want to include:
• A welcome note that greets your guests and thanks them for coming.
• An itinerary of the wedding events. Information is one of the best things you can give to your guests.
• A list of suggestions for activities and sights that they can see while they are in town so they don’t get bored during downtime.
• Locally-made treats, flowers, or other unique items from the wedding area.
You can arrange for the gift bags to be placed in guests’ hotel rooms or leave them with the front desk to be handed out at check-in.
Other ways to include out-of-town guests
• Invite them to the rehearsal dinner or to a gathering taking place after the dinner.
• Arrange for a “hospitality room” at their hotel that is stocked with snacks and drinks.
• Seat out-of-town guests with outgoing or local guests who will be able to introduce them to other guests at the wedding they don’t know.
For guests who can’t attend the wedding
If you want, send a wedding program to guests who are unable to attend along with a note saying that they were missed.
If you want to take it a step further, a videographer can create a live streaming internet broadcast so people can view the wedding from their computer at home.